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Parents call for removal of ‘graphic’ books in some JCPS libraries

WAVE News has received multiple messages from parents, speaking out about the content in the books.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Some Jefferson County Public School parents are concerned about certain books in some high school libraries and calling for them to be removed.

WAVE News has received multiple messages from parents, speaking out about sexual content in those books.

Miranda Stovall read part of the book “Lawn Boy” at a school board meeting to raise awareness. Her comments were quickly cut off by board member Corrie Shull.

“In fourth grade, at a church youth group meeting out in the bushes, I touched Doug Goebbel’s d***, and he touched mine,” Stovall read. “In fact, there was even some mouths involved.”

“Ma’am, I’m gonna ask you to stop,” Schull said. “That’s obscene.”

“Right there tells you if it’s too obscene for the adults in the room at 9 or 9:30 at night, then it’s probably too obscene to be on the library shelves in a public school,” parent Beanie Geoghegan said, standing next to Stovall.

The two are behind a push to get books like “Lawn Boy,” by Jonathan Evison, and “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe, out of libraries. Both feature LGBTQ topics and some include illustrations depicting sexual acts.

JCPS confirmed both books are available for students to check out at some high schools, but could not provide details about which schools. Neither books are believed to be available to students in middle school.

The books have been debated in other school districts and, in some case, put back on the shelves citing diversity and inclusion.

“I have asked them, like ‘I’m sure there are titles that are just as inclusive that don’t have this type of pornographic content in them,’” Stovall said.

“I saw no curricular value in what was read,” board member Linda Duncan told WAVE News.

The reading at the school board meeting shocked Duncan, who had a lot more questions about the books presented.

“I didn’t expect anything in our libraries to be of that nature in terms of graphic nature of what it was,” she said.

She explained that schools fill libraries based on recommended lists.

Duncan and a district spokesperson instructed parents to first contact the schools’ principals if they’re concerned about books in the libraries. If they’re not happy with the response, the complaint can be taken to the School Board Decision Making council, which includes parents.

Stovall is now encouraging other parents to monitor what their children are reading.

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